Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

IWSG, There's a Gossamer Shimmer in Air, LoanWords, Drought, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Sonia Dogra, J Lenni Dorner, Pat Garcia, Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen, and Meka James!

This month's question is: The IWSG celebrates 12 years today! When did you discover the IWSG, how do you connect, and how has it helped you? It's been 12 years already? My how time flies when we're having fun! I think I was among some of those original people who already "knew" Alex through blogging when he came up with the idea. Has it helped? YES!!! I don't think I would still be blogging and trying to stay connected with writerly type people if it weren't for these monthly questions. 

Origins: a recurring post in which I delve into the history of a word or phrase.

Today's word is: Gossamer 
There are some words in the English language - like sphere, tranquility, ethereal, serendipitous, sumptuous, amethyst - that are just plain pretty. They are pretty to look at, sound nice, and they feel good on the lips, tongue and in the mouth when spoken. Gossamer is, for me, one of those words.

But it's story doesn't hint at how it's meaning would change. Just look at some of it's many lovely synonyms. Gauze/gauzy, diaphanous, sheer, translucent, filmy, light, feathery.

... webs (4758219776)

It is the last word, feathery, that hints at gossamer's origin. It comes to us from Old English. Back in the old days, a thousand years ago or so, in the fall, filmy spiderwebs could be seen on the stubbly remains after the fields had been harvested. People may have thought the feathery spider webby stuff that flew around in the air looked like goose down. Hence we get gos, meaing "goose" plus sumer  meaning "summer." Literally, goosesummer. These late summer, early fall days was also the time when geese were eaten, so when the birds were being cleaned their down likely floated around in the air.

As for Texas, goose down and cobwebs are not floating around, but the air is definitely shimmering like silvery gossamer. 

LoanWord: A word adopted from a foreign language with little or no modification. 
Today's loanwords are from the Orient.

Chinese: Ketchup, Brainwashing, Typhoon, Chow, Gung-ho, Kowtow, Paper Tiger, Pidgin, Tea, Tycoon. Japanese: Honcho, Ramen, Soy, Tofu, Emoji, Rickshaw, Tsunami, Koi, Futon, Teriyaki, Tempura, Ginkgo

We are getting tired of this unpresented heat and lack of rain. We are in Stage 4 water restrictions and Exceptional Drought conditions. Predictions are that September will be more of the same. Predictions are this area will eventually become a desert. Trees are shedding their leaves. Cypress are turning brown. I still see sprinklers going. The underlying fear is fire. So far we have been extremely blessed or lucky that all the fires that have happened have been small and quickly contained. But there are still idiots out there who think they can burn their brush piles or light up their burn barrels. All it would take is for one cedar to catch fire and we'd have a disaster on our hands. I know a volunteer fireman and he keeps me posted. He's nervous...

Somewhere Else

The dry, hot wind
                    sucks the moisture
                    from the air
Sucks it out of the tree and leaves
Sucks it out of human skin
Evaporates it all
and sends it up into a
                    cloudless sky.
Where it goes
                    is a mystery.
Somewhere else
                    there is rain
                    there is flooding.

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful that the Texas electrical grid has held 
despite getting almost daily alerts to conserve energy.


  1. That's so cool that you've known Alex since before he started the IWSG. I'm going to visit my late husband's family in Texas next month. I hope it's cooler by then.

  2. I'm very glad you joined us! Fires are scary. Hope you get some rain and preferably not from a hurricane.

  3. We're hitting 100 this week but fortunately we've had rain. My friend in Texas says her lawn is completely brown now.

  4. Gossamer has such a "feathery" sound, too! Thanks for etymology, Bish. The kind of information that I love. Hope you get the relief from those high temps soon.

  5. Gossamer is such a delightful word!
    The IWSG has such a wonderful sense of community, which is hard to find in online groups.
    Happy IWSG Anniversary Day!

  6. Hi Bish - Gossamer ... a delightful word. I've just seen Michelle's comment - similar thoughts! Also Sarah's thought - I definitely wouldn't be around but for the A-Z and IWSG. Now as to heat - that poem rings true for us at the moment. All the best - cheers Hilary

  7. I love the word gossamer too. Seeing it, saying it. So pretty.

    Fires are so scary. I'll keep my fingers crossed the barrel burning stop burning barrels!


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!